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From Ambition to Accomplishment: Realizing My Long-awaited Dream of Obtaining a Master’s Degree in the midst of a Pandemic

12 Jun 2023

“Don’t be afraid to be ambitious about your goals.
Hard work never stops. Neither should your dreams.”
Dwayne Johnson

I have been a practising pharmacist working in the government health sector for 8 years before joining the Master in Pharmacy Practice (MPP) programme at IMU as a part-time student. The thought of pursuing my postgraduate studies has always been in my mind for a couple of years, however, it was always brushed aside due to my busy work schedules.

It was during the COVID-19 Movement Control Order (MCO) that I decided that this was the time to pursue what I have always wanted to do since we were stuck at home and had nowhere to go.


Thus, I began researching schools at which I could pursue my postgraduate degree. International Medical University (IMU) has always been known as one of the top medical schools in Malaysia and it was at the top of my list of possible school options. After extensive research and narrowing down my options, I made a trip to IMU and had a chance to speak to the Programme Director who gave me more information on the MPP programme and cleared any doubts I had.


In the end, I made the decision to sign up for the postgraduate degree with IMU as it fulfilled all my requirements, from its comprehensive syllabus to its flexible programme schedule and reasonable tuition fees. Their MPP programme has 4 different streams and I decided on the Clinical Pharmacy stream as it was the most relevant to my current role as a pharmacist in the healthcare setting and would definitely help me in my career growth.

Working as a full-time pharmacist in a different state while pursuing my postgraduate degree as a part-time student was indeed challenging. However, the flexibility of the programme structure with classes conducted on the weekends, made it possible for me to maintain a full-time job.

Because I started my postgraduate degree during the COVID-19 MCO, all classes were conducted online. However, I must applaud IMU for conducting it in a very structured and organised manner. Classes, assignments, and group discussions were all done through TEAMS meetings. Even though there were no face-to-face sessions due to the MCO, the lecturers managed it very efficiently with constant feedback, updates, and communications with students which ensured a smooth sailing educational journey for us despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


As part of the programme, I underwent my clinical placement face-to-face at a tertiary care public hospital which gave me a lot of insights into various healthcare services and gained advanced pharmacy practice skills.


I am very grateful to all the lecturers and staff at IMU who were very supportive throughout my education journey. Throughout my 2.5 years with IMU, I have gained invaluable knowledge and expertise that aligns perfectly with my professional goals. This MPP programme has empowered me with an in-depth understanding of clinical pharmacy, thus allowing me to make evidence-based decisions to optimise patient outcomes. All of these acquired skills will help me advance in my chosen career, hopefully in the pharmacy field – which is where I want to spend the rest of my days helping others!


Written by Siaw Mun Li

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